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Debating The Idea Of Corporations As People

02/21/11 12:00PM By Jane Lindholm
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AP/J. Scott Applewhite
A year ago, the United States Supreme Court handed down one of its most controversial decisions in recent years. In Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission the Court ruled that corporations are like people - that they have the right to free speech, and the right to spend freely to influence elections. An ABC News-Washington Post poll taken shortly after the decision found that 80 percent of Americans oppose the decision. And just recently, a group of Vermont State Senators introduced a resolution "urging the United States Congress to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution for the states' consideration which provides that corporations are not persons under the laws of the US or any of its jurisdictional subdivisions." We delve into the idea of corporate personhood with First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams and Vermont Law School professor Oliver Goodenough.

 

 

Also on the program, we talk to Chris James and Geoff MacDonald, co-owners of Meathead Films. These guys love to ski, and they love to ski the east. So much so that 10 years ago, back when they were both students at UVM, they started shooting and putting out ski movies under the label "Meathead Films." These days, they've turned it into a full time gig, and they churn out a ski movie every year. Their main goals are to get people psyched about ski season, and showcase what the east has to offer.

And we visit the Bixby Memorial Library in Vergennes.  Built in 1912, the library also serves as a museum of local history. While many small libraries used to include a museum, the cost of curating and maintaining a collection proved cost prohibitive.  Now, the Bixby is one of the last in the state that still preserves local and regional artifacts in this way.  Head Librarian Rachel Plant gives us a tour of the museum's eclectic collection.

 

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